It’s the last major of the year as the PGA Tour heads to South Carolina for the first Major ever to be held in the Palmetto State. The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island is renowned as one of the hardest courses in the United States. Pete Dye designed the course with a big assist from his wife Alice who suggested elevating the fairways which not only enhanced the views but raised the course above the protection of the dunes along the oceanside course. The course received its overhaul after Hurricane Hugo crushed the region in 1989 and hosted the famous Ryder Cup in 1991 known as the “War by the Shore” the subject of the new book by Curt Sampson which I can’t wait to get my hands on.
Last week, the WGC-Bridgestone gave everyone a solid warmup for the tough conditions at Kiawah and Keegan Bradley prepared to defend his PGA Championship title by winning after a Sunday charge to beat Jim Furyk. Squatney Leather won the week in the Fantasy CPR Group with Bradley on his roster. Above Par took over the Summer Segment lead and MT Cup maintained the overall lead but dropped all the ^^ from his name. My entry did solid getting a boost from Steve Stricker’s strong finish to secure 170 points.
Hopefully, this week’s Major is another good week for my picks. My foursome for Round 1 of ESPN’s Best Ball is Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Aaron Baddeley, and Vijay Singh.Here’s who I like this week in the Yahoo game:
Steve Stricker – Stricker charged to his 2nd place finish last week with a final round 64. He’s been in the top 25 the last five weeks, and I’m still good with six starts after saving them all season for Mr. September. He’s looking to finish with his usual run. He was t15 at the British and t23 at the US Open both of which are decent comparisons for this week’s tournament.
Webb Simpson – Speaking of the US Open, my second pick is US Open champ Simpson who hasn’t played since a t7 at the Greenbrier where he led after the third round. He’s missed the last few weeks due to the birth of his second child and will look to return and win back-to-back Majors he’s been able to play in after missing the British.
Dustin Johnson – Johnson is my pick to win this week and finally get that first Major win after multiple close calls. He has the length to attack the course and knows the course well since it’s in his home state. He was top 10 at the British after missing the cut at the US Open. He’s been in the top 20 of four of his seven tournaments since returning from injury.
Rory McIlroy – McIlroy tied for fifth last week at Firestone and may be rounding back into the form that saw him on top of the golf world earlier this season. He can be the best in the world
Bubba Watson – With the length of this course, bombers like Johnson and Watson should have a distinct advantage. He’s had three consecutive top 25s and if he’s making his shots might be the one to tame the Ocean Course.
Justin Rose – Rose tied for fifth last week as well after a tough first round cost him an MC at the British. Rose is a good scrambler which is necessary on this type of course and has been playing well with nine top tens in his last 14 tournaments.
Jason Dufner – If it’s going to be another “new” guy who wins this Major, Dufner is a great pick as he continues his breakout season. He’s already won twice on tour this year and has top 10s in five of his last seven starts. Dufner has a solid overall game and has been consistently good lately.
Charl Schwartzel- The former Masters Champion shot a blistering 63 on Sunday at Firestone to finish t24. His game has been up-and-down lately but if he gets hot he could take hoem his second Major Championship at the end of the weekend.